Hundreds of Argentines today crowded the streets before the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association headquarters after an arrest warrant was issued for the organization’s head, Hebe de Bonafini. At the time this article is being written, Bonafini continues to refuse to comply with the arrest orders issued by Federal Judge Marcelo Martínez de Giorgi.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, how far they are willing to go… but we’ll face this corrupt judiciary that also wants to put [former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner] in prison,” Bonafini said today.
How did we get here? This week, Judge Martínez de Giorgi called Bonafini into for questioning regarding her alleged involvement in the so-called Sueños Compartidos (“shared dreams”) Case, which is investigating whether the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association embezzled public funds destined for social housing programs. However, Bonafini refused to voluntarily go to the courthouse.
The judge then determined Bonafini was in contempt of court and ordered that police bring her in by force. As we know now, he didn’t succeed. Surrounded by supporters preventing police from getting to her, Bonafini left the Mothers’ headquarters in a van — which dodged the police roadblock by driving over the sidewalk — and made her way to the Plaza de Mayo to give her traditional Thursday speech. “I’m not afraid of these hijos de mil puta [a stronger variation of “son of a bitch” which literally translates to “sons of a thousand bitches”],” she said. She then made her way back to the headquarters, still escorted by a crowd of supporters.
According to La Nación, Judge Martínez de Giorgi still intends to get her to testify and will order her arrest to answer his questions tomorrow.
The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Association strives to find disappeared children who were abducted by the military dictatorship between 1976-1983. The Mothers are separate from the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo Founding Line, from which they split in 1986 over political differences, as well as from the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, led by Estela de Carlotto, who search for children born in captivity who were given or sold to allies of the dictatorship.